New Insights into Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger’s Working Methods and Milieu

Recent technical investigation of Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger’s Saint Jerome in His Study (1624, London, Courtauld Gallery) in combination with close study of two related works—a print and a drawing—have provided new insights into Van Steenwijck’s working methods and interests, in particular his use of prints. Neither of these subjects has received much scholarly attention heretofore. The article also covers the artistic milieu in Frankfurt where Van Steenwijck began his career at a time when Albrecht Dürer’s legacy was actively continued. And it offers clues about how Van Steenwijck made deliberate use of his background in pursuing a specific type of client in London. The discovery of an autograph letter of 1632, discussed and transcribed in the Appendix by Thomas Fusenig, further adds to our knowledge of Van Steenwijck’s professional and personal contacts.

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2019.11.1.3

Appendix: A Letter by Hendrick van Steenwijck the Younger from 1632

JHNA_11.1_Koopstra_Fusenig_Appendix

Acknowledgements

Research for this article was undertaken as an Associate Caroline Villers Research Fellow 2016/17 (Courtauld Institute of Art). I would like to thank Aviva Burnstock, Karen Serres, and Graeme Barraclough for their generous help in enabling me to study the painting. I also thank the Trustees of the Caroline Villers Fellowship and my then colleagues at the National Gallery, London, Rachel Billinge, Caroline Campbell, and Betsy Wieseman. Parts of this paper were presented at the colloquium “Architectural Painting in the 16th and 17th Century” held at the Rubenianum on October 10, 2016; my thanks to Claire Baisier for inviting me. I wish to thank Pamela Barr and, particularly, Alison Kettering, Dagmar Eichberger, and the anonymous external reviewers of JHNA for their comments and care. For his support and scholarly generosity, I owe a special thanks to Thomas Fusenig.

Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study, 1624,  London, The Courtauld Gallery
Fig. 1 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome in His Study, 1624, oil on panel, 27 x 21.7 cm. London, The Courtauld Gallery, inv. P.1978.PG.423 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), detail of sig, 1624,
Fig. 2 Detail of signature and date, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1) (photomicrograph: by the author)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome, 1624,  Nottinghamshire, Welbeck Estate, Harley Gallery, The Portland Collection
Fig. 3 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome, 1624, oil on panel, 21.6 x 30.5 cm. Nottinghamshire, Welbeck Estate, Harley Gallery, The Portland Collection (artwork in the public domain; photo: The Portland Collection/Bridgman Images)
Johann Theodor de Bry,  Saint Jerome in a Room with an Arched Ceiling,  ca. 1580–1600,  London, The British Museum
Fig. 4 Johann Theodor de Bry, Saint Jerome in a Room with an Arched Ceiling, ca. 1580–1600, engraving, 110 x 70 mm. London, The British Museum, inv. E, 2.82 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Trustees of the British Museum)
Ludwig Krug,  Saint Jerome in His Study,  ca. 1500–1530,  Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina
Fig. 5 Ludwig Krug, Saint Jerome in His Study, ca. 1500–1530, pen and brown ink on paper, 115 x 68 mm. Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, inv. 3198 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © The Albertina Museum, Vienna)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), infrared refl, 1624,
Fig. 6 Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), infrared reflectogram (photo: Department of Conservation and Technology, Courtauld Institute of Art)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), detail of pin, 1624,
Fig. 7 Detail of pinpoint in book, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1) (photomicrograph: by the author)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), detail of lio, 1624,
Fig. 8 Detail of lion’s tail, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1) (photomicrograph: by the author)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study,  New York, Christie’s, January 31, 2013
Fig. 9 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome in His Study, oil on copper, 25.1 x 18.1 cm. New York, Christie’s, January 31, 2013, lot 202 (artwork in the public domain)
Albrecht Dürer,  Saint Jerome in a Cardinal’s Robe,  ca. 1511,  London, The British Museum
Fig. 10 Albrecht Dürer, Saint Jerome in a Cardinal’s Robe, ca. 1511, woodcut, 229 x 156 mm. London, The British Museum, inv. E,3.170 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Trustees of the British Museum)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Two Figures in a Church,  Private collection
Fig. 11 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Two Figures in a Church, oil on panel, 10.6 x 8.4 cm. Private collection (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Bonhams, London, UK/Bridgman Images)
Albrecht Altdorfer,  The Idolatry of Solomon,  ca. 1500–38,  London, The British Museum
Fig. 12 Albrecht Altdorfer, The Idolatry of Solomon, ca. 1500–38, engraving, 61 x 41 mm. London, The British Museum, inv. 1845,0809.1139 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Trustees of the British Museum)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Letter of May 18, 1632, by Hendrik van Steenwijck, 1632,  University of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole 1399, part II
Fig. 13 Letter of May 18, 1632, by Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger to Theodoricus Gravius. University of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole 1399, part II, fol. 104 r-v (photo: © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)
  1. 1. For the lives and works of Hendrik van Steenwijck the Elder, Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, and the latter’s wife Susanna Gaspoel, also a painter, see the monograph by Jeremy Howarth, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective (Pictura Nova XII) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2009); for an extensive and detailed review, see Thomas Fusenig, “Book Review of Jeremy Howarth, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective,” Oud Holland 125 (2012): 131–47.https://doi.org/10.1163/18750176-90000005 The church interiors for which Van Steenwijck is best known will not be discussed here; for these, see most recently, Claire Baisier, ed., Divine Interiors: Experience Churches in the Age of Rubens, exh. cat. (Antwerp: Museum Mayer van den Bergh, 2016).

  2. 2. Van Steenwijck was born in an artistic milieu. His mother, Helena van Valckenborch, was the daughter of Marten van Valckenborch (1534–1612), the patriarch of an extensive family of artists from Louvain. Van Steenwijck’s parents probably met through Hendrik the Elder’s professional contacts with Helena’s father and her uncle Lucas van Valckenborch (ca. 1535–1597).

  3. 3. It is also a unique work, since Van Steenwijck appears not to have made any copies or variations on it.

  4. 4. From the numbers listed by Howarth (Howarth, The Steenwyck Family), these works account for some 15 percent of Van Steenwijck the Younger’s oeuvre.

  5. 5. Howarth (Howarth, The Steenwyck Family) lists twenty-four works with the subject of Saint Jerome (though this also includes the odd work that has seemingly little to do with Van Steenwijck, such as cat. II.D21, a painting in the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, inv. 1073).

  6. 6. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II.D5, 236, panel, 21.6 x 30.5 cm, signed (“Henrei van Steinwic”) and dated 1624, Welbeck Abbey, Portland Collection, inv. 000347. The earliest signed and dated example of a Saint Jerome by Van Steenwijck is from 1602 (painting on copper, in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena).

  7. 7. One of the sources who informs us of Van Steenwijck’s move to London is Balthasar Gerbier (1592–1663), the artist, writer, and diplomat who praised Van Steenwijck’s art in his Eer ende Claght-dicht, written in honor of Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617). For Gerbier, see Otto Hirschmann, “Balthasar Gerbiers Eer ende Claght-Dight ter Eeren van Henricus Goltzius,” Oud Holland 38 (1920): 104–28; David Freedberg, “Fame, Convention and Insight: On the Relevance of Fornenbergh and Gerbier,” Ringling Museum of Art Journal 1 (1983): 236–59; and, most recently, Marika Keblusek, “Cultural and Political Brokerage in Seventeenth-Century England: The Case of Balthazar Gerbier,” in Dutch and Flemish Artists in Britain, 1500–1800, ed. Juliette Roding (Leiden: Primavera Pers, 2003), 73–81. It is likely that Gerbier and Van Steenwijck, who both probably moved to London around the same time, knew each other. For further evidence in regard to the connection between Van Steenwijck and Gerbier, see also Bernard M. Vermet, “Een uitzonderlijke opdracht: Dirck van Delen en Johan Huyssen,” Zeeland 23 (2014): 1–10. I thank Bernard Vermet for sharing his thoughts on Gerbier. We do not know exactly where in London Van Steenwijck resided, nor for how long. But he appears to have played an important role in the city’s community of immigrant Flemish and Netherlandish artists. In 1626–27 Van Steenwijck is mentioned in the proceedings that followed the well-known complaint made by the London Painter–Stainers’ Company against “strangers.” See Susan Foister, “Foreigners at Court: Holbein, Van Dyck and the Painter-Stainers Company,” in Art and Patronage in the Caroline Courts: Essays in Honour of Sir Oliver Millar, ed. David Howarth (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 32. That same year his name appears in a list of painters working in London without a license; see Edward Town, “A Biographical Dictionary of London Painters, 1547–1625,” Walpole Society 76 (2014): 1–235. I thank Jacob Simon for bringing this reference to my attention. It is assumed that Van Steenwijck left London for Holland in the late 1630s.

  8. 8. The connection between print and drawing was first published by Count Antoine Seilern, who attributed the discovery to his friend Fritz Grossmann. Antoine Graf Seilern, Paintings and Drawings of Continental Schools other than Flemish and Italian at 56 Princes Gate London SW 7 (London: Shenval Press, 1961), 3.

  9. 9. For the De Bry family, see Michiel van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World in the De Bry Collection of Voyages (1590–1634) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008), esp. chapt. 2 (“From Goldsmiths to Publishers: the transformation of the De Bry family”), 51–78. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  10. 10. For the drawing, see Benno Fleischmann, “Eine Deutsche Kleinmeisterzeichnung,” Die Graphischen Künste (1936): 86–88. The dimensions of the drawing and those of the engraving are nearly identical.

  11. 11. The drawing appears in Bartsch’s 1894 catalogue of the collection of the printmaker and collector Charles Prince de Ligne (1759–1792) as the first of eleven works by Dürer. Adam Bartsch, Catalogue Raisonné des Desseins Originaux des Plus Grands Maitres Anciens et Modernes, qui faisoient partie du Cabinet de Feu Le Prince Charles de Ligne (Vienna: Blumauer, 1894), 137: “Petit dessein d’une plume extrémement fine, représentant l’intérieur d’une chambre voutée. Sur le devant S. Jerôme est assis devant un livre posé sur un pupitre. Dans le fond se voit le lion couché, et un peu plus loin le lit du Saint.”  

  12. 12. Recent examinations undertaken for this study in the Courtauld Institute’s Department of Conservation and Technology included X-radiography (2016; by Aviva Burnstock) and microscopic analysis (December 2016 and May 2017; by the author). Already available material consisted of infrared reflectography (undertaken in January 2015 with an Osiris camera, by Aviva Burnstock in the Courtauld Institute’s Department of Conservation and Technology) and dendrochronological analysis (done in December 2015 by Ian Tyers).

  13. 13. The horizontal line along the upper edge is not only drawn but also incised; a pinhole is visible on the surface at the upper right. More underdrawn short vertical lines along the upper edge of the panel probably served to measure the composition in relation to the support.

  14. 14. It seems that Van Steenwijck borrowed these elements from Dürer’s widely known 1514 engraving of Saint Jerome in His Study and from woodcuts from Dürer’s Life of the Virgin series, published several years earlier.

  15. 15. Shorter underdrawn marks, similar to those seen along the upper edge of the panel, probably helped Van Steenwijck measure this area separately, fixing the position of the figure in relation to the rest of the composition, which was to be stretched slightly to the right to accommodate the composition’s rectangular format onto a support with more square proportions.

  16. 16. Most of the diagonals converge in the same area, near the right-hand corner of the foot of the bed, just below the railing.

  17. 17. Edward Norgate, Miniatura, or the Art of Limning, ed. and trans. Jeffrey M. Muller and Jim Murrell (New Haven and London: Yale University Press and Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, 1997), 110.

  18. 18. Despite its modest dimensions (26.9 x 21.6 cm), the support of Saint Jerome in His Study is constructed from two vertical wooden boards. Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the narrowest board is from the eastern Baltic. Report by Ian Tyers of December 2015 (in the painting’s curatorial files), 38–40. It is probably by coincidence that the (underdrawn) rectangle around the figure of the saint approximately (though not exactly) coincides in width with the narrowest of the two boards that make up the support.

  19. 19. For example, Van Steenwijck added ribs to the simple barrel-vaulted ceiling, as he did in his church interiors, only to find that the ribs did not meet correctly.

  20. 20. The painting technique can also be compared to that of a heightened drawing in the Getty Center, Los Angeles, Crypt of a Church with Two Men Sleeping (12.2 x 16.5 cm; inv. 85.GG.42). The drawing possibly dates from 1625, one year later than the Courtauld Saint Jerome. A similar drawing has survived in the Albertina (inv. 8171; 10.7 x 12.8 cm). It is likely that the few surviving drawings by Van Steenwijck, rather than having a preparatory function, were presentation drawings, similar to the function of the drawings mentioned in the inventory of Charles I (where they are described as: “’5 Litle Cartouns . . . of prospective = done by Stanewick to Serve for. Patrons”). See Christopher White, The Later Flemish Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen (London: Royal Collection Trust, 2007), 293.

  21. 21. Theodor de Bry the Elder was born in Liège. He left before 1560. In that year he is first recorded in the Lutheran city of Strasbourg, where he became a member of the goldsmith’s guild, and married his first wife; both of his sons were born there. According to Zülch, the first trace of De Bry in Frankfurt also dates from 1560. Walther Karl Zülch, Frankfurter Künstler, 1223–1700 (1935; repr., Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Sauer & Auvermann KG, 1967), 365–68.

  22. 22. Ph. Rombouts and Th. van Lerius, De Liggeren en andere historische archieven der Antwerpsche Sint Lucasgilde (Antwerp: Julius de Koninck, 1874), 1:263. Due to the lack of De Bry’s family name, Van Groesen cautioned that this entry in the guild register is “problematic.” Van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World, 58. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  23. 23. Rombouts and Van Lerius, De Liggeren, 1:263.

  24. 24. In August 1584 the Antwerp goldsmith Hans van Balen (d. 1605), who worked with De Bry, reported that De Bry was planning to leave Antwerp soon. Van Balen’s initials must be those found on an engraving by De Bry for a knife handle (British Museum, inv. 1904,0608.2), an activity described by Van Groesen as “a common intermediary activity for goldsmiths-turning-engravers in the late sixteenth-century.” Van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World, 60. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  25. 25. On June 7, 1586, Van Steenwijck the Elder and his father-in-law Marten van Valckenborch obtained citizenship in Frankfurt, perhaps as a direct result of the Spanish conquest of Antwerp. Zülch, Frankfurter Künstler, 386–87.

  26. 26. Van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World, 66–67. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  27. 27. It cannot be excluded that Van Steenwijck had already owned the engraving for some time.  

  28. 28. Fleischmann, “Eine Deutsche Kleinmeisterzeichnung.” Ludwig Krug was trained by his father, Hans (d. 1519), a goldsmith employed in the workshop of Dürer’s father, Albrecht the Elder (1427–1502).

  29. 29. For Krug’s drawings, see Edmund Schilling, “Zeichnungen von Ludwig Krug,” Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums (1932/33): 109–18; see also Edmund Wilhelm Braun, “Eine Nürnberger Goldschmiedwerkstätte aus dem Dürer-Kreise,” Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Vervielfältigende Kunst 4 (1915): 37–57.

  30. 30. Zülch, Frankfurter Künstler, 614.

  31. 31. The fact that the De Brys credited the drawing’s authorship to Dürer may indicate they were unaware of its provenance. Alternatively, it may have been a deliberate decision on their part to copy “Dürer.”

  32. 32. Frederik van Valckenborch also owned a separate cast of the artist’s right hand, attesting to his particular reverence for the master. Joseph Meder, “Neue Beiträge zur Dürer-Forschung,” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 23 (1902): 53–69, esp. 65–66, 67–68; see also Larry Silver and Jeffrey Chipps Smith, eds., The Essential Dürer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), 97. https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812206012

  33. 33. There is no physical evidence, such as scored lines on the sheet, to suggest it was mechanically copied, though it is possible that De Bry made use of a transparent sheet to trace the composition from the front of the drawing, without damaging it, and transfer the design onto the printing plate. I thank Christof Metzger for his permission to view the drawing.

  34. 34. It is unclear how many impressions of the print exist; it is not listed in Hollstein. Two impressions of the print can be found in the British Museum; inv. E,2.82 (reproduced here) and 1845,0809.624. A small scratch underneath the lion suggests they are possibly impressions from the same plate, with E,2.82 being of slightly better quality. As Fleischmann reports, the Albertina also keeps an impression of the print. Fleischmann, “Eine Deutsche Kleinmeisterzeichnung,” 86.

  35. 35. It is likely that the drawing of Saint Jerome in His Study was always intended as a model for a print, though no contemporary sixteenth-century prints of it are known.

  36. 36. For the Little Masters, see Stephen Goddard, ed., The World in Miniature: Engravings by the German Little Masters, 1500–1550, exh. cat. (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art/New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988).

  37. 37. “daß er gute Kupferstiche und Holzschnitte / noch in der Schule / mit der Feder ganz correct und sauber nachmachete: maßen der kunstreiche Theodorus de Brie und Matthaeus Merian / auch andere vornehme Kunstverständige / solche seine Hanriße für Originalen und gedruckte Kupfer-oder Holz-Figuren beurtheilt haben”: Joachim von Sandrart, Teutsche Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste (Nuremberg: Jacob von Sandrart, and Frankfurt: Matthaeus Merian, 1675–80). Online edition: http://ta.sandrart.net, edited by Thomas Kirchner, Alessandro Nova, Carsten Blüm, Anna Schreurs, and Thorsten Wübbena (2008–12), 4–5.

  38. 38. Little has been said about Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger’s use of prints as sources. The only instance of prints as sources named by Howarth are Steenwijck the Elder’s derivations from Vredeman de Vries’s prints, published by Cock and Galle between 1560–1600. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, 63–65; see also Jeremy Howarth, “The Influence of Hans Vredeman de Vries on Hendrick van Steenwijck the Elder (c. 1550–1603) and Hendrick van Steenwijck the Younger (1581/82–1649),” in Hans Vredeman de Vries und die Folgen, eds. H. Borggrefe and V. Lüpkes (Marburg: Jonas Verlag, 2005), 129–35.

  39. 39. Christie’s, New York, January 31, 2013, lot 202. Prior to that sold at Sotheby’s, New York, May 13, 1994, lot 27. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II.D. 13. The engraving (Bartsch VII.139.114) is slightly smaller than the painting. Again, Van Steenwijck decided to make small changes to the appearance of the Saint and the room, and to the lower edge of the composition.

  40. 40. The interest in architecture connects the composition of the Courtauld Saint Jerome in His Study with that of Saint Jerome in His Study by the Italian Antonello da Messina (London, National Gallery, NG1418), dated around 1475. In addition to stylistic correspondences, the “study” of Antonello’s Jerome is placed in a churchlike interior, which is intriguing in light of Van Steenwijck’s oeuvre. The earliest provenance for Antonello’s work is in Venice in 1529; when Waagen saw it in 1838 in the collection of Thomas Baring it went as a “Dürer” (Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris (Berlin: Nicolai, 1838), 2:253–54), while in 1876 Éphrussi thought it to be a work by Jacopo de Barbari (Charles Éphrussi, Notes biographiques sur Jacopo de Barbari dit le Maître au caducée, peintre-graveur vénitien de la fin du XVe siècle (Paris: D. Jouaust, 1876). Dürer and De Barbari shared an interest in the subject of perspective: Dürer is said to have learned the latest about perspective (and proportion) from De Barbari (who worked in Nuremberg between 1500 and 1503). The two had first met in Venice on Dürer’s first trip to Italy.

  41. 41. I thank Thomas Fusenig for sharing this unpublished information with me. For the painting, see Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II. E16. Sold at Bonhams, London, April 10, 1986, lot 233 it was last seen at Salomon Lilian, Amsterdam.

  42. 42. A work that has been assumed to be its pendant (current location is similarly unknown) shows a similar composition and shares the same provenance, though it is unclear if these works were conceived as a pair. Also painted on copper, it is dated 1612, which could—but does not necessarily need to—be the date of both paintings.

  43. 43. Two Figures in a Church is part of a group of nine paintings with similar compositions (though none is an exact copy of the other) and the same slightly obscure subject matter. Eight of the nine works are on copper panels. The only work of the group that was executed on a wooden panel is also the largest: the painting Esther and Mordechai (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, dated 1616). Its different support and larger dimensions could suggest that this work was a specific commission.

  44. 44. In connection with the copper engraving that is its model, it is of additional interest that Howarth reports that Two Figures in a Church (which he refers to as “Figures in a temple”) was painted on the reverse of a copper plate that is etched with studies of figures, which suggests it was intended to be used for printing. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II.E15 to II.E23.

  45. 45. David Landau and Peter W. Parshall, The Renaissance Print, 1470–1550 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 337. More recently Friederike Hauffe argued for Altdorfer’s pioneering role in focusing solely on the subject of architecture, discussing the Regensburg synagogue prints together with several architectural drawings by the artist. Friederike Hauffe, Architektur als selbständiger Bildgegenstand bei Albrecht Altdorfer (Kromsdorf and Weimar: VDG Weimar, 2007).

  46. 46. Van Steenwijck the Elder’s first professional link to printmaking dates from 1576, when he drew a map of Aachen for the Civitates Orbis Terrarum published by Braun and Hogenberg in Antwerp between 1572 and 1617. It is possible that Van Steenwijck the Elder’s contact with Jean Mofflin (d. 1587), one of his few identified patrons, came about via his Antwerp contacts in the printing industry. As a bibliophile, Mofflin was in regular contact with the influential Antwerp book printer and publisher Christopher Plantin (ca. 1520–1589): on November 4, 1586, Mofflin sent a letter to Plantin stating he was looking for an engraver to reproduce an image: “you will find in this image a snail, upon which you will place my devise – tecum habita Joannes Moflin.” Max Rooses and Jan Denucé, Correspondence de Christophe Plantin, vols. 8 and 9 (Antwerp: De Groote Boekhandel/The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1918), 84.

  47. 47. Most famously, Elsheimer’s Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat (Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace), painted on small copper plate (13.5 x 9.8 cm), was made after an engraving by Dürer, which is almost identical in dimensions. It is assumed that the work was made before the artist went to Italy in 1597. Rüdiger Klessmann, Adam Elsheimer 1578–1610, exh. cat. (Frankfurt: Städelsches Kunstinstitut/Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland/London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2006).

  48. 48. For Uffenbach, see Ursula Opitz, Philipp Uffenbach: Ein Frankfurter Maler um 1600 (Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2015).

  49. 49. Uffenbach had also inherited a volume of drawings by Matthias Grünewald. The collecting of works by Dürer would continue into the next generation of Frankfurt artists: according to Von Sandrart his cousin Michel Le Blon (1587–1656), who trained as a goldsmith and also as an engraver with Johann Theodor de Bry, possessed a collection of works by Holbein and Dürer. Joachim von Sandrart himself also owned works by and objects related to Dürer, including “ein kleiner Hieronymus im kupfer”; he also came into possession of one of Dürer’s most important and early drawings, Death of Orpheus (Hamburger Kunsthalle), which he obtained from Immanuel Ayrer (1647–1690) in Nuremberg, to whom the drawing had passed by descent.

  50. 50. I thank Pernille Richards from the Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery for providing me with a detail of the signature, which unfortunately is difficult to reproduce. It can be found on one of the columns of the church that is visible behind the two figures on the right, one of whom is carrying a torch. Van Steenwijck the Younger’s decision to include his father in the signature (in the same way as De Bry credited Dürer with the invention of the Saint Jerome in His Study) is not only indicative of his engagement with prints at this point in his career but is also proof of the artist’s intent to pay homage to earlier generations of artists.

  51. 51. Sotheby’s, London, June 20, 1948, lot 87. Bruce sold eight Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by De Heem and Teniers and one work (a church interior) jointly signed by Neefs and Francken.

  52. 52. Victor Alexander Bruce (1849–1917), the 9th Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, the father of Major Robert Bruce, owned other paintings by seventeenth century masters, including Rembrandt and Caspar Netscher; some he inherited from his ancestors, while others were probably bought by him. At least one more painting Major Bruce had inherited from his father—an Allegory of Winter by Abraham Bloemaert, last seen at auction at Christie’s, London, December 2, 2014, lot 25—was passed on by descent to his daughter.

  53. 53. Thomas Bruce was granted Houghton House as his seat in 1624 by King James I, while Edward Bruce was a close confidant of King Charles I. The earldoms of Elgin and Kincardine were joined in the mid-eighteenth century. Another of his forebears, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine, was responsible for bringing the Elgin Marbles to Britain.

  54. 54. Despite its signature and date, unfortunately none of the paintings of Saint Jerome that can be found in the Getty Provenance Index can be identified with certainty as the Courtauld Saint Jerome in His Study.

  55. 55. Even though Elsheimer’s Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat entered the collection of King Charles I of England in 1639 as a gift from an English diplomat who probably purchased the painting in Germany, it clearly evidences the king’s taste for Northern Renaissance art. The “new” compositions by Van Steenwijck and Elsheimer’s early works have in common a distinct use of light and shadow—in particular in Van Steenwijck’s paintings of the Liberation of Saint Peter—which seem to have been very popular with English clients.

  56. 56. See Duncan Thomson, ed., Nicholas Lanier: A Portrait Revealed (London: Weiss Gallery, 2010). I thank Thomas Fusenig for bringing this portrait (by an as-of-yet unidentified artist) to my attention.

  57. 57. Two of the six paintings with the subject of the Liberation of Saint Peter today in the Royal Collection are recorded in the collection of Charles I. See White, The Later Flemish Pictures.

  58. 58. Works from his collection came with distinguished provenances, such as the late antiquary and collector John Talman (1677–1726)), the king of France, and Thomas Howard (1585–1646), 2nd Earl of Arundel. In the 1742 sales catalogue of Harley’s collection the painting appeared as no. 20 (on the fourth day of the sale): “A small piece of perspective, with St Mark, by Stenwick 1624.” Sale, London, March 8–13, 1742 (Lugt no. 553). Works by Van Steenwijck also appear in the list of paintings of the 2nd Marquis of Hamilton (1589–1625), drawn up after his death in 1624–25 (see Philip McEvansoneya, “An Unpublished Inventory of the Hamilton Collection in the 1620’s and the Duke of Buckingham’s Pictures,” Burlington Magazine 134 [1992]: 526). Three of the four works by Van Steenwijck depicting the Liberation of Saint Peter in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna came into the possession of Duke Leopold Wilhelm from the collection of the Duke of Hamilton.

  59. 59. Another notable collector with similar interests is the 1st Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers (1592–1628). Villiers collected works of art with the help of Balthasar Gerbier, among others.

  60. 60. His interest in reproductive engraving is evidenced by the fact that he had his art collection reproduced by printmakers.

  61. 61. A letter from Dürer to Niclas Kratzer, astronomer to Henry VIII (Kratzer was depicted by Hans Holbein in a 1528 portrait today in the Musée du Louvre), probably once in possession of Abraham Ortelius, came to be owned by his great-nephew Emanuel van Meteren (1535–1612), who was consul for the traders of the Low Countries in London. A large collection of letters written to Ortelius ended up in possession of the Dutch church in London (Austin Friars), probably via Van Meteren. They were dispersed when the Dutch church decided to auction the collection. See for the letter to Kratzer, written by Dürer from Nuremberg on December 5, 1524 (currently untraced), Joannes Henricus Hessels, ed., Ecclesiae Londino-Batavae archivum, 1: Abrahami Ortelii at virorum eruditorum ad eundum et ad Jacobum Colium Ortelianum epistulae (Cambridge: Typis Academiae sumptibus Ecclesiae Londino-Batavae, 1887), 3–4.  

  62. 62. This interest in alchemy and an unorthodox form of Protestantism is typical of the combined scientific and mystical approaches that existed among scholars at the time. Several of the original Fellows of the Royal Society (the following generation of scientists in England; it was founded in London in 1660) similarly held interests that joined antiquarian and scientific interests with more occult pursuits. An example is Elias Ashmole (1617–1692), a student of alchemy and collector of material related to natural history. Van Steenwijck’s letter to Gravius was part of Ashmole’s collection of manuscripts, a large part of which he bequeathed to the University of Oxford and which can today be found in the Bodleian Library.

  63. 63. The De Bry firm corresponded with scholars from all over Europe—men who were often moving from place to place because of political circumstances and were able to communicate in different languages, like Van Steenwijck. For Joachim von Sandrart’s connections to these scholars, see Esther Meier, “Jenseits der Konfessionen: Sandrarts Beziehungen zu Schwärmern und Spiritualisten,” in Joachim von Sandrart: Ein europäischen Künstler und Theoretiker zwischen Italien und Deutschland, eds. Sibylle Ebert-Schifferer and Cecilia Mazzetti di Pietralata (Munich: Hirmer Verlag), 21–30.

  64. 64. In 1625, Lucas Jennis himself married Maria von Sandrart, sister of Joachim. For the (familial) connections in the publishing business and book trade in Frankfurt, see Johannes Müller, “Transmigrant Literature: Translating, Publishing, and Printing in Seventeenth-Century Frankfurt’s Migrant Circles,” German Studies Review 40 (Feb. 2017): 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1353/gsr.2017.0000

  65. 65. An alternative, more skeptical interpretation one could make of the curt, short note is that Van Steenwijck was merely the middleman in delivering the two writings to the unknown Mr. Allardin/Alartin.

  66. 66. Alexander Bruce, second Earl of Kincardine (1629–81) and a distant forefather of the Courtauld painting’s earlier owner Robert Bruce, was also present at the 1660 foundational meeting of the Royal Society in London, as was Elias Ashmole. See A. J. Youngson, “Alexander Bruce, F.R.S., Second Earl of Kincardine (1629–1681),” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 15 (1960): 251–58. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsnr.1960.0024 Bruce’s interest in scientific matters, is evident from his surviving correspondence (starting in the 1650’s) with his friend Robert Moray, the so-called Kincardine Papers (1657–73), published by David Stevenson, ed., Letters of Sir Robert Moray to the Earl of Kincardine, 1657–73 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).

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McEvansoneya, Philip. “An Unpublished Inventory of the Hamilton Collection in the 1620’s and the Duke of Buckingham’s Pictures.” Burlington Magazine 134 (1992): 524–26.

Meder, Joseph. “Neue Beiträge zur Dürer-Forschung.” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 23 (1902): 53–69.

Meier, Esther. “Jenseits der Konfessionen: Sandrarts Beziehungen zu Schwärmern und Spiritualisten.” In Joachim von Sandrart: Ein europäischen Künstler und Theoretiker zwischen Italien und Deutschland, edited by Sibylle Ebert-Schifferer and Cecilia Mazzetti di Pietralata, 21–30. Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2009.

Moran, Bruce T. “The Kassel Court in European Context – Patronage Styles and Moritz the Learned as Alchemical Maecenas.” In Landgraf Moritz der Gelehrte. Ein Kalvinist zwischen politik und Wissenschaft, ed. Gerhard Menk, 215–28. Marburg and Lahn: Trautvetter & Fischer, 2000.

Müller, Johannes. “Transmigrant Literature: Translating, Publishing, and Printing in Seventeenth-Century Frankfurt’s Migrant Circles.” German Studies Review 40 (Feb. 2017): 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1353/gsr.2017.0000

Norgate, Edward. Miniatura, or the Art of Limning. Edited and translated by Jeffrey M. Muller and Jim Murrell. New Haven and London: Yale University and Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, 1997.

Opitz, Ursula. Philipp Uffenbach: Ein Frankfurter Maler um 1600. Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2015.

Poole, William. “Theodoricus Gravius (fl. 1600–1661): Some Biographical Notes on a German Chymist and Scribe Working in Seventeenth-Century England.” Ambix 56 (2009): 239–52. https://doi.org/10.1179/000269809X12529013496338

Rombouts, Ph., and Th. van Lerius. De Liggeren en andere historische archieven der Antwerpsche Sint Lucasgilde. 2 vols. Antwerp: Julius de Koninck, 1874.

Roosbroeck, Robert van. Emigranten: Nederlandse Vluchtelingen in Duitsland (1550–1600). Leuven: Davidsfonds, 1968.

Rooses, Max, and Jan Denucé. Correspondence de Christophe Plantin. Vols. 8 and 9. Antwerp: De Groote Boekhandel/The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1918.

Sandrart, Joachim von. Teutsche Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste. Nuremberg: Jacob von Sandrart, and Frankfurt: Matthaeus Merian, 1675–80. Online edition: http://ta.sandrart.net, edited by Thomas Kirchner, Alessandro Nova, Carsten Blüm, Anna Schreurs, and Thorsten Wübbena, 2008–12.

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List of Illustrations

Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study, 1624,  London, The Courtauld Gallery
Fig. 1 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome in His Study, 1624, oil on panel, 27 x 21.7 cm. London, The Courtauld Gallery, inv. P.1978.PG.423 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), detail of sig, 1624,
Fig. 2 Detail of signature and date, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1) (photomicrograph: by the author)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome, 1624,  Nottinghamshire, Welbeck Estate, Harley Gallery, The Portland Collection
Fig. 3 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome, 1624, oil on panel, 21.6 x 30.5 cm. Nottinghamshire, Welbeck Estate, Harley Gallery, The Portland Collection (artwork in the public domain; photo: The Portland Collection/Bridgman Images)
Johann Theodor de Bry,  Saint Jerome in a Room with an Arched Ceiling,  ca. 1580–1600,  London, The British Museum
Fig. 4 Johann Theodor de Bry, Saint Jerome in a Room with an Arched Ceiling, ca. 1580–1600, engraving, 110 x 70 mm. London, The British Museum, inv. E, 2.82 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Trustees of the British Museum)
Ludwig Krug,  Saint Jerome in His Study,  ca. 1500–1530,  Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina
Fig. 5 Ludwig Krug, Saint Jerome in His Study, ca. 1500–1530, pen and brown ink on paper, 115 x 68 mm. Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, inv. 3198 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © The Albertina Museum, Vienna)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), infrared refl, 1624,
Fig. 6 Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), infrared reflectogram (photo: Department of Conservation and Technology, Courtauld Institute of Art)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), detail of pin, 1624,
Fig. 7 Detail of pinpoint in book, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1) (photomicrograph: by the author)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1), detail of lio, 1624,
Fig. 8 Detail of lion’s tail, Saint Jerome in His Study (fig. 1) (photomicrograph: by the author)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Saint Jerome in His Study,  New York, Christie’s, January 31, 2013
Fig. 9 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Saint Jerome in His Study, oil on copper, 25.1 x 18.1 cm. New York, Christie’s, January 31, 2013, lot 202 (artwork in the public domain)
Albrecht Dürer,  Saint Jerome in a Cardinal’s Robe,  ca. 1511,  London, The British Museum
Fig. 10 Albrecht Dürer, Saint Jerome in a Cardinal’s Robe, ca. 1511, woodcut, 229 x 156 mm. London, The British Museum, inv. E,3.170 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Trustees of the British Museum)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Two Figures in a Church,  Private collection
Fig. 11 Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, Two Figures in a Church, oil on panel, 10.6 x 8.4 cm. Private collection (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Bonhams, London, UK/Bridgman Images)
Albrecht Altdorfer,  The Idolatry of Solomon,  ca. 1500–38,  London, The British Museum
Fig. 12 Albrecht Altdorfer, The Idolatry of Solomon, ca. 1500–38, engraving, 61 x 41 mm. London, The British Museum, inv. 1845,0809.1139 (artwork in the public domain; photo: © Trustees of the British Museum)
Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger,  Letter of May 18, 1632, by Hendrik van Steenwijck, 1632,  University of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole 1399, part II
Fig. 13 Letter of May 18, 1632, by Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger to Theodoricus Gravius. University of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole 1399, part II, fol. 104 r-v (photo: © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

Footnotes

  1. 1. For the lives and works of Hendrik van Steenwijck the Elder, Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger, and the latter’s wife Susanna Gaspoel, also a painter, see the monograph by Jeremy Howarth, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective (Pictura Nova XII) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2009); for an extensive and detailed review, see Thomas Fusenig, “Book Review of Jeremy Howarth, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective,” Oud Holland 125 (2012): 131–47.https://doi.org/10.1163/18750176-90000005 The church interiors for which Van Steenwijck is best known will not be discussed here; for these, see most recently, Claire Baisier, ed., Divine Interiors: Experience Churches in the Age of Rubens, exh. cat. (Antwerp: Museum Mayer van den Bergh, 2016).

  2. 2. Van Steenwijck was born in an artistic milieu. His mother, Helena van Valckenborch, was the daughter of Marten van Valckenborch (1534–1612), the patriarch of an extensive family of artists from Louvain. Van Steenwijck’s parents probably met through Hendrik the Elder’s professional contacts with Helena’s father and her uncle Lucas van Valckenborch (ca. 1535–1597).

  3. 3. It is also a unique work, since Van Steenwijck appears not to have made any copies or variations on it.

  4. 4. From the numbers listed by Howarth (Howarth, The Steenwyck Family), these works account for some 15 percent of Van Steenwijck the Younger’s oeuvre.

  5. 5. Howarth (Howarth, The Steenwyck Family) lists twenty-four works with the subject of Saint Jerome (though this also includes the odd work that has seemingly little to do with Van Steenwijck, such as cat. II.D21, a painting in the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, inv. 1073).

  6. 6. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II.D5, 236, panel, 21.6 x 30.5 cm, signed (“Henrei van Steinwic”) and dated 1624, Welbeck Abbey, Portland Collection, inv. 000347. The earliest signed and dated example of a Saint Jerome by Van Steenwijck is from 1602 (painting on copper, in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena).

  7. 7. One of the sources who informs us of Van Steenwijck’s move to London is Balthasar Gerbier (1592–1663), the artist, writer, and diplomat who praised Van Steenwijck’s art in his Eer ende Claght-dicht, written in honor of Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617). For Gerbier, see Otto Hirschmann, “Balthasar Gerbiers Eer ende Claght-Dight ter Eeren van Henricus Goltzius,” Oud Holland 38 (1920): 104–28; David Freedberg, “Fame, Convention and Insight: On the Relevance of Fornenbergh and Gerbier,” Ringling Museum of Art Journal 1 (1983): 236–59; and, most recently, Marika Keblusek, “Cultural and Political Brokerage in Seventeenth-Century England: The Case of Balthazar Gerbier,” in Dutch and Flemish Artists in Britain, 1500–1800, ed. Juliette Roding (Leiden: Primavera Pers, 2003), 73–81. It is likely that Gerbier and Van Steenwijck, who both probably moved to London around the same time, knew each other. For further evidence in regard to the connection between Van Steenwijck and Gerbier, see also Bernard M. Vermet, “Een uitzonderlijke opdracht: Dirck van Delen en Johan Huyssen,” Zeeland 23 (2014): 1–10. I thank Bernard Vermet for sharing his thoughts on Gerbier. We do not know exactly where in London Van Steenwijck resided, nor for how long. But he appears to have played an important role in the city’s community of immigrant Flemish and Netherlandish artists. In 1626–27 Van Steenwijck is mentioned in the proceedings that followed the well-known complaint made by the London Painter–Stainers’ Company against “strangers.” See Susan Foister, “Foreigners at Court: Holbein, Van Dyck and the Painter-Stainers Company,” in Art and Patronage in the Caroline Courts: Essays in Honour of Sir Oliver Millar, ed. David Howarth (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 32. That same year his name appears in a list of painters working in London without a license; see Edward Town, “A Biographical Dictionary of London Painters, 1547–1625,” Walpole Society 76 (2014): 1–235. I thank Jacob Simon for bringing this reference to my attention. It is assumed that Van Steenwijck left London for Holland in the late 1630s.

  8. 8. The connection between print and drawing was first published by Count Antoine Seilern, who attributed the discovery to his friend Fritz Grossmann. Antoine Graf Seilern, Paintings and Drawings of Continental Schools other than Flemish and Italian at 56 Princes Gate London SW 7 (London: Shenval Press, 1961), 3.

  9. 9. For the De Bry family, see Michiel van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World in the De Bry Collection of Voyages (1590–1634) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008), esp. chapt. 2 (“From Goldsmiths to Publishers: the transformation of the De Bry family”), 51–78. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  10. 10. For the drawing, see Benno Fleischmann, “Eine Deutsche Kleinmeisterzeichnung,” Die Graphischen Künste (1936): 86–88. The dimensions of the drawing and those of the engraving are nearly identical.

  11. 11. The drawing appears in Bartsch’s 1894 catalogue of the collection of the printmaker and collector Charles Prince de Ligne (1759–1792) as the first of eleven works by Dürer. Adam Bartsch, Catalogue Raisonné des Desseins Originaux des Plus Grands Maitres Anciens et Modernes, qui faisoient partie du Cabinet de Feu Le Prince Charles de Ligne (Vienna: Blumauer, 1894), 137: “Petit dessein d’une plume extrémement fine, représentant l’intérieur d’une chambre voutée. Sur le devant S. Jerôme est assis devant un livre posé sur un pupitre. Dans le fond se voit le lion couché, et un peu plus loin le lit du Saint.”  

  12. 12. Recent examinations undertaken for this study in the Courtauld Institute’s Department of Conservation and Technology included X-radiography (2016; by Aviva Burnstock) and microscopic analysis (December 2016 and May 2017; by the author). Already available material consisted of infrared reflectography (undertaken in January 2015 with an Osiris camera, by Aviva Burnstock in the Courtauld Institute’s Department of Conservation and Technology) and dendrochronological analysis (done in December 2015 by Ian Tyers).

  13. 13. The horizontal line along the upper edge is not only drawn but also incised; a pinhole is visible on the surface at the upper right. More underdrawn short vertical lines along the upper edge of the panel probably served to measure the composition in relation to the support.

  14. 14. It seems that Van Steenwijck borrowed these elements from Dürer’s widely known 1514 engraving of Saint Jerome in His Study and from woodcuts from Dürer’s Life of the Virgin series, published several years earlier.

  15. 15. Shorter underdrawn marks, similar to those seen along the upper edge of the panel, probably helped Van Steenwijck measure this area separately, fixing the position of the figure in relation to the rest of the composition, which was to be stretched slightly to the right to accommodate the composition’s rectangular format onto a support with more square proportions.

  16. 16. Most of the diagonals converge in the same area, near the right-hand corner of the foot of the bed, just below the railing.

  17. 17. Edward Norgate, Miniatura, or the Art of Limning, ed. and trans. Jeffrey M. Muller and Jim Murrell (New Haven and London: Yale University Press and Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, 1997), 110.

  18. 18. Despite its modest dimensions (26.9 x 21.6 cm), the support of Saint Jerome in His Study is constructed from two vertical wooden boards. Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the narrowest board is from the eastern Baltic. Report by Ian Tyers of December 2015 (in the painting’s curatorial files), 38–40. It is probably by coincidence that the (underdrawn) rectangle around the figure of the saint approximately (though not exactly) coincides in width with the narrowest of the two boards that make up the support.

  19. 19. For example, Van Steenwijck added ribs to the simple barrel-vaulted ceiling, as he did in his church interiors, only to find that the ribs did not meet correctly.

  20. 20. The painting technique can also be compared to that of a heightened drawing in the Getty Center, Los Angeles, Crypt of a Church with Two Men Sleeping (12.2 x 16.5 cm; inv. 85.GG.42). The drawing possibly dates from 1625, one year later than the Courtauld Saint Jerome. A similar drawing has survived in the Albertina (inv. 8171; 10.7 x 12.8 cm). It is likely that the few surviving drawings by Van Steenwijck, rather than having a preparatory function, were presentation drawings, similar to the function of the drawings mentioned in the inventory of Charles I (where they are described as: “’5 Litle Cartouns . . . of prospective = done by Stanewick to Serve for. Patrons”). See Christopher White, The Later Flemish Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen (London: Royal Collection Trust, 2007), 293.

  21. 21. Theodor de Bry the Elder was born in Liège. He left before 1560. In that year he is first recorded in the Lutheran city of Strasbourg, where he became a member of the goldsmith’s guild, and married his first wife; both of his sons were born there. According to Zülch, the first trace of De Bry in Frankfurt also dates from 1560. Walther Karl Zülch, Frankfurter Künstler, 1223–1700 (1935; repr., Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Sauer & Auvermann KG, 1967), 365–68.

  22. 22. Ph. Rombouts and Th. van Lerius, De Liggeren en andere historische archieven der Antwerpsche Sint Lucasgilde (Antwerp: Julius de Koninck, 1874), 1:263. Due to the lack of De Bry’s family name, Van Groesen cautioned that this entry in the guild register is “problematic.” Van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World, 58. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  23. 23. Rombouts and Van Lerius, De Liggeren, 1:263.

  24. 24. In August 1584 the Antwerp goldsmith Hans van Balen (d. 1605), who worked with De Bry, reported that De Bry was planning to leave Antwerp soon. Van Balen’s initials must be those found on an engraving by De Bry for a knife handle (British Museum, inv. 1904,0608.2), an activity described by Van Groesen as “a common intermediary activity for goldsmiths-turning-engravers in the late sixteenth-century.” Van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World, 60. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  25. 25. On June 7, 1586, Van Steenwijck the Elder and his father-in-law Marten van Valckenborch obtained citizenship in Frankfurt, perhaps as a direct result of the Spanish conquest of Antwerp. Zülch, Frankfurter Künstler, 386–87.

  26. 26. Van Groesen, The Representations of the Overseas World, 66–67. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004164499.i-565

  27. 27. It cannot be excluded that Van Steenwijck had already owned the engraving for some time.  

  28. 28. Fleischmann, “Eine Deutsche Kleinmeisterzeichnung.” Ludwig Krug was trained by his father, Hans (d. 1519), a goldsmith employed in the workshop of Dürer’s father, Albrecht the Elder (1427–1502).

  29. 29. For Krug’s drawings, see Edmund Schilling, “Zeichnungen von Ludwig Krug,” Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums (1932/33): 109–18; see also Edmund Wilhelm Braun, “Eine Nürnberger Goldschmiedwerkstätte aus dem Dürer-Kreise,” Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Vervielfältigende Kunst 4 (1915): 37–57.

  30. 30. Zülch, Frankfurter Künstler, 614.

  31. 31. The fact that the De Brys credited the drawing’s authorship to Dürer may indicate they were unaware of its provenance. Alternatively, it may have been a deliberate decision on their part to copy “Dürer.”

  32. 32. Frederik van Valckenborch also owned a separate cast of the artist’s right hand, attesting to his particular reverence for the master. Joseph Meder, “Neue Beiträge zur Dürer-Forschung,” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 23 (1902): 53–69, esp. 65–66, 67–68; see also Larry Silver and Jeffrey Chipps Smith, eds., The Essential Dürer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), 97. https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812206012

  33. 33. There is no physical evidence, such as scored lines on the sheet, to suggest it was mechanically copied, though it is possible that De Bry made use of a transparent sheet to trace the composition from the front of the drawing, without damaging it, and transfer the design onto the printing plate. I thank Christof Metzger for his permission to view the drawing.

  34. 34. It is unclear how many impressions of the print exist; it is not listed in Hollstein. Two impressions of the print can be found in the British Museum; inv. E,2.82 (reproduced here) and 1845,0809.624. A small scratch underneath the lion suggests they are possibly impressions from the same plate, with E,2.82 being of slightly better quality. As Fleischmann reports, the Albertina also keeps an impression of the print. Fleischmann, “Eine Deutsche Kleinmeisterzeichnung,” 86.

  35. 35. It is likely that the drawing of Saint Jerome in His Study was always intended as a model for a print, though no contemporary sixteenth-century prints of it are known.

  36. 36. For the Little Masters, see Stephen Goddard, ed., The World in Miniature: Engravings by the German Little Masters, 1500–1550, exh. cat. (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art/New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988).

  37. 37. “daß er gute Kupferstiche und Holzschnitte / noch in der Schule / mit der Feder ganz correct und sauber nachmachete: maßen der kunstreiche Theodorus de Brie und Matthaeus Merian / auch andere vornehme Kunstverständige / solche seine Hanriße für Originalen und gedruckte Kupfer-oder Holz-Figuren beurtheilt haben”: Joachim von Sandrart, Teutsche Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste (Nuremberg: Jacob von Sandrart, and Frankfurt: Matthaeus Merian, 1675–80). Online edition: http://ta.sandrart.net, edited by Thomas Kirchner, Alessandro Nova, Carsten Blüm, Anna Schreurs, and Thorsten Wübbena (2008–12), 4–5.

  38. 38. Little has been said about Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger’s use of prints as sources. The only instance of prints as sources named by Howarth are Steenwijck the Elder’s derivations from Vredeman de Vries’s prints, published by Cock and Galle between 1560–1600. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, 63–65; see also Jeremy Howarth, “The Influence of Hans Vredeman de Vries on Hendrick van Steenwijck the Elder (c. 1550–1603) and Hendrick van Steenwijck the Younger (1581/82–1649),” in Hans Vredeman de Vries und die Folgen, eds. H. Borggrefe and V. Lüpkes (Marburg: Jonas Verlag, 2005), 129–35.

  39. 39. Christie’s, New York, January 31, 2013, lot 202. Prior to that sold at Sotheby’s, New York, May 13, 1994, lot 27. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II.D. 13. The engraving (Bartsch VII.139.114) is slightly smaller than the painting. Again, Van Steenwijck decided to make small changes to the appearance of the Saint and the room, and to the lower edge of the composition.

  40. 40. The interest in architecture connects the composition of the Courtauld Saint Jerome in His Study with that of Saint Jerome in His Study by the Italian Antonello da Messina (London, National Gallery, NG1418), dated around 1475. In addition to stylistic correspondences, the “study” of Antonello’s Jerome is placed in a churchlike interior, which is intriguing in light of Van Steenwijck’s oeuvre. The earliest provenance for Antonello’s work is in Venice in 1529; when Waagen saw it in 1838 in the collection of Thomas Baring it went as a “Dürer” (Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris (Berlin: Nicolai, 1838), 2:253–54), while in 1876 Éphrussi thought it to be a work by Jacopo de Barbari (Charles Éphrussi, Notes biographiques sur Jacopo de Barbari dit le Maître au caducée, peintre-graveur vénitien de la fin du XVe siècle (Paris: D. Jouaust, 1876). Dürer and De Barbari shared an interest in the subject of perspective: Dürer is said to have learned the latest about perspective (and proportion) from De Barbari (who worked in Nuremberg between 1500 and 1503). The two had first met in Venice on Dürer’s first trip to Italy.

  41. 41. I thank Thomas Fusenig for sharing this unpublished information with me. For the painting, see Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II. E16. Sold at Bonhams, London, April 10, 1986, lot 233 it was last seen at Salomon Lilian, Amsterdam.

  42. 42. A work that has been assumed to be its pendant (current location is similarly unknown) shows a similar composition and shares the same provenance, though it is unclear if these works were conceived as a pair. Also painted on copper, it is dated 1612, which could—but does not necessarily need to—be the date of both paintings.

  43. 43. Two Figures in a Church is part of a group of nine paintings with similar compositions (though none is an exact copy of the other) and the same slightly obscure subject matter. Eight of the nine works are on copper panels. The only work of the group that was executed on a wooden panel is also the largest: the painting Esther and Mordechai (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, dated 1616). Its different support and larger dimensions could suggest that this work was a specific commission.

  44. 44. In connection with the copper engraving that is its model, it is of additional interest that Howarth reports that Two Figures in a Church (which he refers to as “Figures in a temple”) was painted on the reverse of a copper plate that is etched with studies of figures, which suggests it was intended to be used for printing. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family, cat. II.E15 to II.E23.

  45. 45. David Landau and Peter W. Parshall, The Renaissance Print, 1470–1550 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 337. More recently Friederike Hauffe argued for Altdorfer’s pioneering role in focusing solely on the subject of architecture, discussing the Regensburg synagogue prints together with several architectural drawings by the artist. Friederike Hauffe, Architektur als selbständiger Bildgegenstand bei Albrecht Altdorfer (Kromsdorf and Weimar: VDG Weimar, 2007).

  46. 46. Van Steenwijck the Elder’s first professional link to printmaking dates from 1576, when he drew a map of Aachen for the Civitates Orbis Terrarum published by Braun and Hogenberg in Antwerp between 1572 and 1617. It is possible that Van Steenwijck the Elder’s contact with Jean Mofflin (d. 1587), one of his few identified patrons, came about via his Antwerp contacts in the printing industry. As a bibliophile, Mofflin was in regular contact with the influential Antwerp book printer and publisher Christopher Plantin (ca. 1520–1589): on November 4, 1586, Mofflin sent a letter to Plantin stating he was looking for an engraver to reproduce an image: “you will find in this image a snail, upon which you will place my devise – tecum habita Joannes Moflin.” Max Rooses and Jan Denucé, Correspondence de Christophe Plantin, vols. 8 and 9 (Antwerp: De Groote Boekhandel/The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1918), 84.

  47. 47. Most famously, Elsheimer’s Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat (Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace), painted on small copper plate (13.5 x 9.8 cm), was made after an engraving by Dürer, which is almost identical in dimensions. It is assumed that the work was made before the artist went to Italy in 1597. Rüdiger Klessmann, Adam Elsheimer 1578–1610, exh. cat. (Frankfurt: Städelsches Kunstinstitut/Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland/London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2006).

  48. 48. For Uffenbach, see Ursula Opitz, Philipp Uffenbach: Ein Frankfurter Maler um 1600 (Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2015).

  49. 49. Uffenbach had also inherited a volume of drawings by Matthias Grünewald. The collecting of works by Dürer would continue into the next generation of Frankfurt artists: according to Von Sandrart his cousin Michel Le Blon (1587–1656), who trained as a goldsmith and also as an engraver with Johann Theodor de Bry, possessed a collection of works by Holbein and Dürer. Joachim von Sandrart himself also owned works by and objects related to Dürer, including “ein kleiner Hieronymus im kupfer”; he also came into possession of one of Dürer’s most important and early drawings, Death of Orpheus (Hamburger Kunsthalle), which he obtained from Immanuel Ayrer (1647–1690) in Nuremberg, to whom the drawing had passed by descent.

  50. 50. I thank Pernille Richards from the Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery for providing me with a detail of the signature, which unfortunately is difficult to reproduce. It can be found on one of the columns of the church that is visible behind the two figures on the right, one of whom is carrying a torch. Van Steenwijck the Younger’s decision to include his father in the signature (in the same way as De Bry credited Dürer with the invention of the Saint Jerome in His Study) is not only indicative of his engagement with prints at this point in his career but is also proof of the artist’s intent to pay homage to earlier generations of artists.

  51. 51. Sotheby’s, London, June 20, 1948, lot 87. Bruce sold eight Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by De Heem and Teniers and one work (a church interior) jointly signed by Neefs and Francken.

  52. 52. Victor Alexander Bruce (1849–1917), the 9th Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, the father of Major Robert Bruce, owned other paintings by seventeenth century masters, including Rembrandt and Caspar Netscher; some he inherited from his ancestors, while others were probably bought by him. At least one more painting Major Bruce had inherited from his father—an Allegory of Winter by Abraham Bloemaert, last seen at auction at Christie’s, London, December 2, 2014, lot 25—was passed on by descent to his daughter.

  53. 53. Thomas Bruce was granted Houghton House as his seat in 1624 by King James I, while Edward Bruce was a close confidant of King Charles I. The earldoms of Elgin and Kincardine were joined in the mid-eighteenth century. Another of his forebears, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine, was responsible for bringing the Elgin Marbles to Britain.

  54. 54. Despite its signature and date, unfortunately none of the paintings of Saint Jerome that can be found in the Getty Provenance Index can be identified with certainty as the Courtauld Saint Jerome in His Study.

  55. 55. Even though Elsheimer’s Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat entered the collection of King Charles I of England in 1639 as a gift from an English diplomat who probably purchased the painting in Germany, it clearly evidences the king’s taste for Northern Renaissance art. The “new” compositions by Van Steenwijck and Elsheimer’s early works have in common a distinct use of light and shadow—in particular in Van Steenwijck’s paintings of the Liberation of Saint Peter—which seem to have been very popular with English clients.

  56. 56. See Duncan Thomson, ed., Nicholas Lanier: A Portrait Revealed (London: Weiss Gallery, 2010). I thank Thomas Fusenig for bringing this portrait (by an as-of-yet unidentified artist) to my attention.

  57. 57. Two of the six paintings with the subject of the Liberation of Saint Peter today in the Royal Collection are recorded in the collection of Charles I. See White, The Later Flemish Pictures.

  58. 58. Works from his collection came with distinguished provenances, such as the late antiquary and collector John Talman (1677–1726)), the king of France, and Thomas Howard (1585–1646), 2nd Earl of Arundel. In the 1742 sales catalogue of Harley’s collection the painting appeared as no. 20 (on the fourth day of the sale): “A small piece of perspective, with St Mark, by Stenwick 1624.” Sale, London, March 8–13, 1742 (Lugt no. 553). Works by Van Steenwijck also appear in the list of paintings of the 2nd Marquis of Hamilton (1589–1625), drawn up after his death in 1624–25 (see Philip McEvansoneya, “An Unpublished Inventory of the Hamilton Collection in the 1620’s and the Duke of Buckingham’s Pictures,” Burlington Magazine 134 [1992]: 526). Three of the four works by Van Steenwijck depicting the Liberation of Saint Peter in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna came into the possession of Duke Leopold Wilhelm from the collection of the Duke of Hamilton.

  59. 59. Another notable collector with similar interests is the 1st Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers (1592–1628). Villiers collected works of art with the help of Balthasar Gerbier, among others.

  60. 60. His interest in reproductive engraving is evidenced by the fact that he had his art collection reproduced by printmakers.

  61. 61. A letter from Dürer to Niclas Kratzer, astronomer to Henry VIII (Kratzer was depicted by Hans Holbein in a 1528 portrait today in the Musée du Louvre), probably once in possession of Abraham Ortelius, came to be owned by his great-nephew Emanuel van Meteren (1535–1612), who was consul for the traders of the Low Countries in London. A large collection of letters written to Ortelius ended up in possession of the Dutch church in London (Austin Friars), probably via Van Meteren. They were dispersed when the Dutch church decided to auction the collection. See for the letter to Kratzer, written by Dürer from Nuremberg on December 5, 1524 (currently untraced), Joannes Henricus Hessels, ed., Ecclesiae Londino-Batavae archivum, 1: Abrahami Ortelii at virorum eruditorum ad eundum et ad Jacobum Colium Ortelianum epistulae (Cambridge: Typis Academiae sumptibus Ecclesiae Londino-Batavae, 1887), 3–4.  

  62. 62. This interest in alchemy and an unorthodox form of Protestantism is typical of the combined scientific and mystical approaches that existed among scholars at the time. Several of the original Fellows of the Royal Society (the following generation of scientists in England; it was founded in London in 1660) similarly held interests that joined antiquarian and scientific interests with more occult pursuits. An example is Elias Ashmole (1617–1692), a student of alchemy and collector of material related to natural history. Van Steenwijck’s letter to Gravius was part of Ashmole’s collection of manuscripts, a large part of which he bequeathed to the University of Oxford and which can today be found in the Bodleian Library.

  63. 63. The De Bry firm corresponded with scholars from all over Europe—men who were often moving from place to place because of political circumstances and were able to communicate in different languages, like Van Steenwijck. For Joachim von Sandrart’s connections to these scholars, see Esther Meier, “Jenseits der Konfessionen: Sandrarts Beziehungen zu Schwärmern und Spiritualisten,” in Joachim von Sandrart: Ein europäischen Künstler und Theoretiker zwischen Italien und Deutschland, eds. Sibylle Ebert-Schifferer and Cecilia Mazzetti di Pietralata (Munich: Hirmer Verlag), 21–30.

  64. 64. In 1625, Lucas Jennis himself married Maria von Sandrart, sister of Joachim. For the (familial) connections in the publishing business and book trade in Frankfurt, see Johannes Müller, “Transmigrant Literature: Translating, Publishing, and Printing in Seventeenth-Century Frankfurt’s Migrant Circles,” German Studies Review 40 (Feb. 2017): 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1353/gsr.2017.0000

  65. 65. An alternative, more skeptical interpretation one could make of the curt, short note is that Van Steenwijck was merely the middleman in delivering the two writings to the unknown Mr. Allardin/Alartin.

  66. 66. Alexander Bruce, second Earl of Kincardine (1629–81) and a distant forefather of the Courtauld painting’s earlier owner Robert Bruce, was also present at the 1660 foundational meeting of the Royal Society in London, as was Elias Ashmole. See A. J. Youngson, “Alexander Bruce, F.R.S., Second Earl of Kincardine (1629–1681),” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 15 (1960): 251–58. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsnr.1960.0024 Bruce’s interest in scientific matters, is evident from his surviving correspondence (starting in the 1650’s) with his friend Robert Moray, the so-called Kincardine Papers (1657–73), published by David Stevenson, ed., Letters of Sir Robert Moray to the Earl of Kincardine, 1657–73 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).

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DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2019.11.1.3
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Anna Koopstra, Thomas Fusenig (appendix), "New Insights into Hendrik van Steenwijck the Younger’s Working Methods and Milieu," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 11:1 (Winter 2019) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2019.11.1.3